CHICAGO (CBS) — The pension fund for municipal workers in Illinois has launched an investigation into whether McHenry County board members are qualified to receive the pension benefits for which they have enrolled.

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund has sent a letter to the board, asking for proof that McHenry County Board members actually work enough hours each year to qualify for a pension. The fund requires employees work at least 1,000 hours a year to receive pensions.

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IMRF executive director Louis Kosiba asked the county’s human resources director to provide the documentation by April 4.

State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) sparked the investigation, after he raised questions about the documentation most board members have provided to obtain a pension.

“Many long-term county board members were using their time on the county board to become IMRF eligible, and then they would take a high-paying county job for a few years, and boost their pensions to $90,000 a year, and then retire,” he said.

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Franks said he wants a special prosecutor appointed to examine affidavits filed by 18 of the 24 board members, indicating they do work the required hours, which would average 20 hours a week for 50 weeks.

Franks said he highly doubts board members put in that much time each year.

“They don’t have any hour obligations whatsoever as a county board member. They don’t even have to show up. They don’t even have to vote. And let me tell you, some of them miss over 35 percent of the meetings,” he said.

Franks said any McHenry County board members not telling the truth on those affidavits could be charged with a Class 3 felony.

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“It’s a very clubby atmosphere where they think it’s okay to do what they’re doing, because who’s going to ever stand up to them?” he said. “There’s a real good ol’ boy network in McHenry County. It’s all one party, and they don’t really have any checks and balances, and nobody tells them no.”